Life-changing, cross-cultural experiences that Catawba alumna Anne Esterline Fogg '69 of Durham had while she was a student at Catawba and while living abroad for 25 years have shaped her into the person she is today. She's paying those experiences forward now by making an endowment gift to establish the Catawba Cross-Cultural Experience Award.
During the fall, members of the Catawba community made award applications according to criteria that Esterline Fogg herself helped to determine, and in mid-December, four individuals were announced as inaugural recipients of the award. These recipients will all undertake projects in the year ahead designed to share their own cross-cultural experiences with other members of the College community. The recipients include:
- Modern Foreign Languages Professor Marie Langhorne and Assistant to Academic Affairs and the Ketner Center for International Studies Ms. Ann Clifton (jointly) — $750. Their project will explore the French language and culture on the Caribbean island of Martinique, with a view toward possibly establishing a foreign study program there for Catawba students.
Theatre Arts student Prentice Clark of Charleston, S.C. — $750. Her project, based on a recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic, will examine how to use music and theatre to successfully communicate with students of any language or culture. Langhorne
- Business Administration student Rafal Baran of Trzebinia, Poland — $500. His project, based on a recent trip abroad to Turkey, will involve an upcoming summer internship in Madagascar.
Eleven applications for the award were received and reviewed by Esterline Fogg, Dr. Kurt Corriher, Director of Catawba's Center for International Studies (which administers the awards), Dr. Michael Bitzer, College Provost, and Rex Otey, Catawba's Vice President for Development. Even though the inaugural recipients' projects are international in nature, Esterline Fogg stressed that cross-cultural experiences do not necessarily have to be international experiences.
"I can't tell you how thrilled, excited and amazed I am that we received applications from faculty, staff and students willing to share their experiences with others," Esterline Fogg explained, noting she is anxious to meet the recipients in person. "It will be exciting to see what lessons they bring back."
When asked why she decided to make the awards available not just to students but to faculty and staff as well, Esterline Fogg shared: "When I was here at Catawba, I was treated like family. Everyone worked together to make sure my experience was well-rounded."
Getting to Know Anne Esterline Fogg '69
Esterline Fogg's own cross-cultural experience began when she left her Amish community in her native Pennsylvania to attend college at Catawba. Her father, who had been exposed to different cultures when he was in the service, drove his daughter to Catawba where they met with then College President Dr. Donald Dearborn.
"Dr. Dearborn said, ‘This is what Catawba is going to do for you, and what are you going to do for Catawba?' " Esterline Fogg remembered. It was a question she quickly set about answering even as an undergraduate.
She began taking classes in a wide variety of disciplines, befriended a Danish international student, Bagga Heilskov, who attended Catawba for one year during Esterline Fogg's undergraduate years, and also made friends with several of Catawba's first black students. She helped with the student newspaper, "The Pioneer," and the women's organization on campus, WWA, that oversaw the planning and execution of May Day festivities. She also served as a resident assistant in North Hall (now Stanback Residence Hall). Thanks to a push for international experience advocated by the Shriver and Kennedy families during the 1960s, Esterline Fogg herself became an international student, spending two summers during college working at the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands through the Experiment in International Living program.
"We were in so many activities, every student, everybody, had to do something. It was quite a time to be here at Catawba." Esterline Fogg's own parents "went to college through me," she explained.
She recalled being one of several Catawba students, black and white friends, who carpooled to downtown Salisbury to see the movie, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" When they arrived at the theatre, the white students sat downstairs, while the black students joined other black theatregoers in racially segregated seats in the balcony. Esterline-Fogg remembered that during the middle of the show, the projector stopped playing the film, the house lights came on, and everyone was asked to leave the theatre. Once outside, while she and her friends were waiting for those in the balcony to exit and rejoin their group, a local policeman told them to head back to campus, that their black friend would join them there shortly. Later, she learned the reason that the film stopped playing and the theatre was evacuated; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot and killed in Memphis, Tenn., and police departments across the South were warned of and fearful of civil unrest.
Esterline Fogg's collegiate career continued and in her junior year, she learned that she must declare an academic major. Because she had taken so many courses across disciplines, at the recommendation of her advisor, she settled on a degree in secondary education for social sciences in grades 6-12.
Her student teaching assignment landed her at North Rowan High School as the school was being integrated. She became what she described as "a Yankee teaching the Civil War for the football coach" who was out on an extended absence. When that coach did not return to the school, she kept on teaching. She taught about the War Between the States and that earned her notice. She received the Student Teacher of the Year Award from Catawba and was named to Who's Who.
That award also landed her her first teaching job after graduation, at Kernersville Junior High, teaching all of the social sciences — everything except math and science and gym. After a year of teaching, she and her Catawba boyfriend, Jeffrey Fogg '70 of New Jersey, married and he began his career with Caterpillar. His career took the couple and their two children around the world during their now concluded 35-year marriage.
She lived in Geneva, Switzerland, Brisbane, Australia (Esterline Fogg's favorite location because she "was in an environment of sunshine, water and friendly people"), Durham, England, and Germany. These locales and their people, allowed her to "experience as well as be challenged by other cultures and other ways of doing things." And sometimes, she shared, the differences could be subtle for her like "how you can have cheddar cheese and it be white."
She always found that each place offered special characteristics that she liked — maybe the history or the wine or the work ethics. She said that she "definitely learned that living and fitting in these countries was dramatically different than being a tourist visiting."
"The hardest move was back to the States," she explained, because "being an expat changed me."
"I experienced the Gulf War and the dividing of several countries while I lived abroad. I did not experience the O.J. Simpson trial or the Oklahoma federal building bombing, nor view Jerry Seinfeld on T.V. Reentry took a long time for me to fit in and feel comfortable.
"People have expectations of what I should be like as an American and I've experienced other cultures and other ways of doing things. I'm not the same person."
Perhaps most of all, that is what Esterline Fogg's goal was when she chose to establish Catawba's Cross-Cultural Experience Award — to celebrate the impact that other cultures can make on a person, and to recognize that all cultures contain defining elements to celebrate and embrace.
"I am so pleased with our first awards and excited about what the next set of applicants will present. Until then, I will try to be there for the award recipients' projects because all of them will be offering something — special gifts — to the Catawba community," she concluded.
Applications for Catawba's Cross-cultural Experience Awards are accepted during the fall semester of each academic year. Catawba faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply.